Feeds

God particle hunt breakthrough expected TODAY

Cancel lunch - significant Higgs boson data promised

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Expect an update on modern science's understanding of the fabric of the universe this lunchtime: physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider will announce their latest findings at 1300 GMT.

The boffins will reveal whether or not their results indicate the existence of the Higgs boson, the "god particle" that gives mass to some particles. The seminar will be webcast from Geneva and a press statement issued at 1430 GMT.

They are not expected to confirm anything conclusive but from a CERN pre-seminar announcement, it seems that the results will be significant:

These results will be based on the analysis of considerably more data than those presented at the summer conferences, sufficient to make significant progress in the search for the Higgs boson, but not enough to make any conclusive statement on the existence or non-existence of the Higgs.

There are two experiments at CERN testing for the Higgs boson: Atlas and CMS. Each uses different methods to search for the particle.

How the findings correlate will be vital in ruling whether a telltale spike in readings is a statistical anomaly or evidence of the particle's existence.

However, it's likely the data available now will be below the bar needed to prove a discovery. The two experiments are only pinpoint the particles at a rate of 2.5 to 3.5 sigma (the measure of statistical certainty). As the Reg reported last week: "At 2.5 sigma, there is a 1 per cent chance that the results are a fluke, and at 3.8 sigma, that chance drops to 0.01 per cent."

The experts hope to have gathered enough data by March to be sure of the finding.

If the results don't find the Higgs where it is expected to be, that would be an even more dramatic discovery, meaning that current physics theory would have to be rethought. It's a possibility - there are some gaps within Higgs' Standard Model theory.

Tune into CERN at 1pm GMT for an update. ®

Bootnote

You can catch the findings from the presentation here.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.